Walmart picks up NJ native's invention

Newton firm producing G Caps


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  • G Cap inventor Nadine Savino Photos courtesy of Nadine Savino




  • The G Cap prevents spills



By Rose Sgarlato

— A local mother and product designer just obtained the Holy Grail of retail marketing — placement of her product on the shelves of Walmart.

Nadine Savino, a New Jerey native educated at Rutgers and Seton Hall, invented a "spill proof stretchable bottle cap for kids," called the G Cap, which was one of about 100 items picked up by the huge retailer at Walmart's U.S. Manufacturing Open Call on June 28. The G Cap, named for Nadine's son Giovanni and manufactured by Mira Plastics of Newton, may be one of the biggest child-safety products to hit the U.S. market.

Savino left a big career in the pharmaceutical industry after giving birth to Giovanni six years ago. Although quite successful in her corporate life, she was about to face one of the biggest challenges ever: spills.

“My son was a horrible eater. We had to make sure to give him Pedialyte (as a supplement). But he was very messy and it wasn’t getting in his mouth---I needed a solution.”

So,the wheels started turning and the incarnation of the G Cap began for the new mother, who headed to her local craft store for help in solving the problem.

“I bought some food-safe silicon at Michael’s and began making some molds to prevent spills,” she said. “After multiple tries I found something and contacted an engineer in the Midwest.”

The engineer designed the cap to make it look like a product that easily molded to openings of various bottles for use by children 18 months and up. Savino holds a Masters Degree in Health Law and knew the next step was to patent the item on Legal Zoom.

“There was so just so much I could invest, because at this point I still didn’t know if anyone was going to like it,” she said.

Another Internet search led to a test manufacturer in China.

“No one would make it here," she said. "China made the initial run of 5,000 units using U.S. materials.”

In an effort to gain feedback, Savino put the product on kickstarter.com where it sold out in six days. Then Good Morning America contacted her about appearing on the ABC show where Savino pitched her product and received a $10,000 check.

Things were moving fast but the second batch of G Caps from China were not good and Savino was determined to find a US manufacturer. Her past New Jersey business travels led her to Mira Plastics in Newton.

“Tina and Anthony, the owners, were happy to make it," she said. "They retrofitted the mold and now 100% of it is U.S. made.”

On June 28, Savino flew to Arkansas for the Walmart event where she was pleasantly surprised with a thumbs up.

“There were teams of people presenting their products, and I was on my own. After presenting it to two sets of buyers, they handed me a green card and said I could start with 100 stores in the spring.”

Savino is proud of the American-made G Cap and its contribution to manufacturing.

"We at Mira are so honored to assist in G Cap's efforts to revitalize American manufacturing, “ said Tina Miragliotta of Mira Plastics Co. Inc.

Presently the G Cap is available at www.thegcap.com and QVC.com at the cost of 2 for $9.99. Savino said that the price will come down significantly when it debuts at Walmart. A retail display and packaging changes are in the works. Mira Plastics has the ability to make 85,000 units a month.

“It’s amazing. Everything is looking really good and promising. Walmart is going to keep me busy, and I am thrilled they are giving me a shot.”

Savino is grateful to Mira Plastics and to her biggest supporter, her husband.

“If it wasn’t for my husband to tell me this is an awesome product –we don’t have to stop here.”

They didn't.

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